Fall is here which means that Halloween is coming. My heart sinks when I think of all the candy my kids will receive, and of course want to eat.
Until now, I have always taken the wimpy way out. My Method One is to allow them to eat one or two pieces a day. Eventually they lose interest in it, at which point I whisk it away and hide it at the back of a high kitchen cupboard. If no one mentions the candy for a few weeks, then into the trash it goes.
My Method Two is to throw away one or two pieces of candy a day so as to make it disappear more rapidly. The most effective approach used to be a combination of Methods One and Two.
But as the kids get older, they seem to remember the existence of the candy for a longer period of time each year, which makes Method One increasingly more difficult to carry out successfully. They also now have a complete mental inventory of every piece of candy in their bag, so Method Two no longer works at all. This year it is clearly time for me to reconsider the Great Candy Dilemma.
MC Milker, the Not Quite Crunchy Parent, wrote a great post the other day about The Candy Fairy. The solution she proposes and has actually used successfully is, in my mind, PURE GENIUS. If there can be a Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, why couldn’t there be a Candy Fairy? Children leave their Halloween candy on the doorstep at night and in the morning the candy is gone, but a small gift is there in its place. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that when my children were younger?
The Candy Fairy can come at Easter too. And why not after birthday parties where candy has been a bit too generously doled out?
According to MC Milker, it is advisable to start talking up The Candy Fairy well in advance of the holiday. For example, starting now for a Halloween Candy Fairy visit insures that the brain washing is fully in place by October 31st. Plus, there are complicated logistics and negotiations that must be handled. When does The Candy Fairy come exactly? How much candy does she expect to receive? I am obviously a novice when it comes to all this. For more expert advice, you should really read MC’s post.
The only problem I can foresee in my own situation is how to explain the sudden arrival on the scene of The Candy Fairy to my 5 and 7 year-old who are regular customers of Santa and The Tooth Fairy, but who have never ever heard of The Candy Fairy. I just don’t think they would buy into the fantasy.
After mulling it all over, I have come up with my own “Mom” variation of The Candy Fairy:
This Halloween I will offer a choice. They can keep their candy, or they can cash it in for a surprise from me. I expect that they will opt for the latter. To make it fun we’ll leave the candy outside the front door which is where they will find their surprise the next morning. I think that this idea has great potential. I’ll report back after Halloween.
Now that I think of it, if this works, perhaps we could start a kind of “candy savings account” where all birthday party candy, Valentine’s candy etc. can be accumulated until there is enough for The Candy Fairy to take in exchange for a gift.
Wouldn’t this encourage saving and spending in addition to making the dentist happy?
Thank you for sharing this exciting idea MC! You may well have changed my life…perhaps I am being a tad dramatic…but I think you have resolved my Great Candy Dilemma for another few years at least!
Thanks to morguefile.com and photographer dieraecherin for the candy photo.